Patrick Lam is passionate about art and design. He has always wanted to build something new to give the world a new perspective whilst conveying different emotions. It was with this in mind that he took his experience in marketing to follow his passion and start his own art business – Monoveno, while still holding down his day job. We spoke to him for the story behind his artworks.

Tell us a bit about Monoveno

I’m an artist and designer specialised in paintings, designs and illustrations. It is niche but because of the vast opportunities out there, art can take shape in numerous forms. Therefore, I can offer my designs through different products and traditional art mediums such as canvases.

The name sounds intriguing. What does it mean?

If you break the name in half you have ‘mono’ – as I’m dedicating myself to arts and it’s the main thing in life I’m interested in doing; ‘veno’ – simply because I like the letter v and Bueno (chocolate); and hence the blend of the two.

Who are your ideal target audience?

In a nutshell, everyone who appreciates my work regardless whether the artwork takes form of a product or traditional canvas paintings.

What do you think makes you unique compared to other artists out there?

As with any other market, the art market is a vast arena full of different talents out there. Art is all about how you interpret things with your own unique vision and every artist out there has their signatures or styles in their work. It is all about creating your own identity and forming this special bond with the people who view your work.

How would you describe your artwork style, or in another word, what genre would you classify your work as? My impression was that they seem to be quite ‘dark’ and heavily influenced by Japanese manga/animate

I have always been fascinated by the things I grew up with – whether it is cartoon characters, songs that I listen to or the clothes that I wear. I like to experiment with various objects, scenes and colours because there’re endless possibilities to create different characters and objects through my unique perspective.

I grew up with dragonball, Pokemon and Disney (and many more) when I was a kid – and things haven’t changed much. I still enjoy Disney movies and manga such as Attack on Titan. These cultural heritage have such a big impact on my life and I want to shape a little universe of the things that I like and share it with the world through different mediums such as paintings and sculptures.

The direction of my first collection – The Awakening, explores the birth of my imagination in art form. If you take an egg and crack it open you have the yolk and the whites. Similarly, by opening up my mind you would find an exhibit of many many things blended together – where there is chaos, there is beauty.

I have always wanted to build something that is new where it can give the world a new perspective to look at things that relates to them and consequently convey different emotions to the viewers. The most important element is bringing messages and elect emotions regardless of the complexity of the work. I have always been a fan of Damien Hirst and Takashi Murakami because their work enhance my way of thinking when creating something. Something simple and yet brings joy to the viewer, this is my ultimate goal.

Monoveno Patrick - body 1

How have you funded your art project so far? 

Up until now, all my work is self-funded and it would be desirable to work with various brands and galleries where my work can be published and distributed through different channels. 

What about your work background? Have you always been in the art industry?  

I have worked in industries completely irrelevant to this. I only took art as a student up until A-levels where I then took a complete detour in my career. Although I did draw and paint during my spare time but until now had not decided to devote more efforts into creating something greater than what was at hand. 

When I get off work every day I feel that there is more to life than just going back home, watching a bit of TV and then off to bed. Time is always scarce and I’m not at the age where I have the luxury of using it on activities that are not very fruitful. This motivated me to make more of my art.

Tell us about the most exciting moment to date in running your business

The best feeling is whenever you have finalised a design after hundreds of sketches and alterations. One impeccable design can simply outdo hundreds of mediocre ones.

What about the toughest moment. What lessons have you taken from this?

I would say that the toughest part of being an artist is to create a perfect creation. I strive to create designs where they can be applied on different mediums and contains a story in their own unique world.

Tell us about any bad decision that you have made along the way and how you corrected them

The biggest missed opportunity for me was not being able to pursue my dreams until now. This happened back at school where I was told by my parents to take on unrelated subjects I was not too passionate about. This created a certain path for me where I ended up in the wrong industry and job type. Luckily, I have found a day job now that I really enjoy and can be an artist at the same time.  

Patrick Lam

Can you elaborate on your day job?

Currently I work in the marketing field where I have the opportunity to get my hands on various tools to promote products online, as well as handling ad campaigns for multinational clients and evaluate the performances where we could further enhance the effectiveness of future campaigns. It is an amazing job as I get to learn various marketing techniques and have the exposure to meet people from different backgrounds.

Where do you see yourself and your artworks in the next few years

There are too many diversions in life, you cannot plan too far ahead. Ideally, I would like my work to have been exhibited and available in galleries around the world.

And finally what advice would you give to someone considering starting their own business?

Work hard, stay smart and be humble.